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Movahedi, S. (1995). Working with Resistance. Martha Stark. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1994. 302 pp.. Mod. Psychoanal., 20(1):103-106.
(1995). Modern Psychoanalysis, 20(1):103-106
Working with Resistance. Martha Stark. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1994. 302 pp.
Review by: Siamak Movahedi
Martha Stark's Working with Resistance is an interesting and well-thought piece of clinical writing by an experienced psychoanalyst trained at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute. The book has 13 chapters full of thoughtful clinical issues, useful discussions, and a synthesis of object relations theory and self psychology.
The chapter headings of the book would give the reader an idea of the general flavor of the book: “The concept of conflict,” “Clinical interventions,” “Understanding and being understood,” “Learning to contain internal conflict,” “Freud on resistance,” “Resistance as a failure to grieve,” “Grief and internalization,” “The development of pathology,” “The defense of affective nonrelatedness,” “The positive transference,” “The negative transference,” “The defense of related entitlement,” and finally, “The attainment of mature hope.”
In an accompanying book, A Primer on Working with Resistance, Stark presents additional discussions of clinical psychoanalytic concepts in a question-answer format. This Primer is highly informative, and makes a good reader for any seminar in psychoanalytic clinical theory.
The underlying conceptual thread that ties all the chapters together is a dialectic of mental health and pathology. Mental health has to do with the capacity to experience reality as it is, uncontaminated by attachment to infantile objects.
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